Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Friday, May 20, 2022

HPE Rolls Docker-Ready Servers, Backs ‘Docker Datacenter’ 

Application container leader Docker's strategic alliance with Hewlett Packard Enterprise will deliver a new class of server that bundles the Docker Engine platform used to build and run containers. The partners said the alliance seeks to accelerate the spread of cloud-native distributed applications across hybrid infrastructure.

As server sales slow, market leader Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) and others have been looking for new ways to seed the market. With an eye toward emerging micro-services applications, HPE said this week it is partnering with Docker to deliver hybrid infrastructure that includes servers bundled with Docker Engine and support to distribute applications across legacy or container infrastructure.

HPE also is betting on industry estimates that have more than half of new workloads deployed via application containers by 2018. The partners said their alliance would help fuel that trend by combining the server leader's infrastructure with Docker's container-as-a-service.

Under terms of the agreement, HPE said its ProLiant, Apollo and Cloudline servers would be pre-configured for Docker Engine and Docker containers. Other HPE infrastructure also would be configured for Docker deployments across computing resources and would be integrated with storage and networking to ease deployment and accelerate scaling. Some of the updates build on earlier announcements by HPE at a Docker developer conference last year.

Meanwhile, the partners also unveiled an infrastructure approach called Docker Datacenter designed to allow Docker container users to scale deployments in different environments. In a statement, the partners said they would work to ensure that "Docker Datacenter works seamlessly for containerized applications deployed across public cloud, composable infrastructure, hyper-converged infrastructure, converged storage and Docker-ready HPE servers."

David Messina, Docker's marketing chief, portrayed the new datacenter approach as ramping up distributed applications that would run across existing infrastructure while leveraging the benefits of application containers and the delivery of micro-services.

The partners also said this week they would collaborate on new "container-enabled technologies" that would be integrated with Docker. Along with a reference configuration and architecture for HPE's hyper-converged infrastructure offerings, the partners said they also would offer a native volume plugin for HPE's 3PAR StoreServ all-flash arrays. The plugin is designed to provide persistent storage for container environments. In addition, the plugin would allow the use of StoreServ arrays for storage in bare-metal container configurations. The feature targets container applications such as SQL databases that require persistent storage.

The partners added that Docker would support HPE's distribution of its Linux operating system.

The alliance also will result in Docker-based upgrades to HPE's cloud and other software portfolio, including expansion of HPE's Helion hybrid cloud suite to incorporate automation features intended to support DevOps processes for traditional and emerging cloud-native applications.

"We are making it easier for IT to deploy and manage containers, while giving organizations solutions that optimize their investments and power a new generation of applications," Antonio Neri, general manager of HPE's Enterprise Group, added in a statement.

HPE said it is targeting the fourth quarter of this year for the release of its Docker-ready servers and integrated infrastructure.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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